Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc + DOME
As a protest to the exploitative nature of late capitalism, with increasing surveillance states and the growing data industry, I have become a humanoid/corporate hybrid as an attempt to establish the value of an individual in a data-driven economy and as a means to regain ownership and control of one's data.
JLM Inc derives value from three sources and legally protects and bestows rights upon the total output of Jennifer Lyn Morone. These sources are the accumulation, categorisation and evaluation of data that is generated as a result of my life; my past experiences and present capabilities, offered as biological, physical and mental services; and the sale of future potential in the form of shares. One visual and interactive manifestation of this project is a webpage streaming all captured data in real-time, which leads to deeper and deeper insight when a bit of information is selected
I’m an American born natural person who incorporated my identity by founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc in 2014 during my time at the Royal College of Art in London. Since then, my mission is to establish the value of an individual in a data-driven economy and late capitalist society, while investigating and exposing issues of privacy, transparency, intellectual property, corporate governance, and the enabling political and legal systems.
How did you get started lifelogging/analysing data?
I began lifelogging in early 2014 when I began this project. As a bit of a sceptic of the intrusiveness and convenience of products and services that we engage with digitally, combined with the value of the companies that create and manage them and the reality that data is just another market I was inspired to begin analysing and collecting my data. However, my purpose was not of self-interest but in uncovering the values of one's data, develop a means by which to collect everything, and thereby control it. It has evolved, however, I find it increasingly frustrating how certain products deny people of their data. I am logging many things but it is a challenge to have real-time information, which is what I am most interested in for this project. The first thing I ever logged was my screen of my Macbook every three minutes.
Why do you find lifelogging so interesting?
I find lifelogging a bit strange actually. I find seeing a living person through the data interesting. My approach is a bit different to what a lifelogger might normally do as I am trying to log everything I may do, am, was, buy, etc. and then treat them as commodities… seeing as they already are. What drives me is to actually visualise how much information there is at any moment but at the same time make people think about their existence in this way and that this information has value. I think there is much more we could be doing with technology and data, right now it is mostly about profit.
How do people in your life react when they discover the extent of your lifelogging?
I try to educate others about the issues at hand concerning data. So, to this degree, I don’t think I have inspired others to lifelog but I have helped them look at what data means and what can be done with information. So far I have received very positive reactions.
What's your favourite time of day and why?
Very late at night, to be able to work because it is a different kind of quiet that you can't have any other time.
Do you remember the first electronic device you owned?
Probably Speak & Spell.
What do you want done with your data after you die?
Now it belongs to my company so it depends on what it's worth and up to future shareholders to decide.
Is there anything about yourself that you would absolutely never like tracked?
Privately, not really. Publicly and on someone else's server, all of it.
What insights on your life has tracking your data revealed?
There are some changes, such as when I realised I make too many faces when I am on the computer, I tried to stop. It is interesting to have a record of all of your decisions, reactions, moods, etc. and to be able to see the cause and effect of it all. The challenge will be to be able to organise and interact with the information in an engaging way, beyond infographics for example.
What websites, magazines or other resources inspire, confound, amuse or irritate you?
I decline to answer for the ones that irritate me. I did like Bruce Sterling's blog on Wired. Otherwise, I am often keeping up with the legal, political and financial updates of data and surveillance. I like Private Eye and Democracy Now. I check out the Quantified Self website to find solutions, and github.com as well.
What is your go-to piece of tech or software for lifelogging?
My phone, my server and BitTorrent Sync are things that I really need and find useful. I am not really interested in new devices as I have been making my own in collaboration with others. I use my phone to test new apps that we are making, which places the individual as the sole owner of their information. BitTorrent Sync is very good in this way. The software we are creating is for personal data collection, it's called DOME (Database Of ME). What we might need beyond something like DOME is a platform where people can combine their data with others to be analysed and packaged. This type of system could hopefully end the proliferation of ‘middle man servers’ of this massive industry.
We're creating a speculative timeline of the possible future of lifelogging. We're asking everyone to make one prediction for a future date. What's yours? Feel free to think big!
Although I would prefer not to predict such a thing as to spur it but probably something like: 2016 lifelogging data/matchmaking website.
Jennifer Lyn Morone would like to thank Christopher Abram, Lucy Morone, the Zwitterion Party, Mark Osborne, Lloyd Elliot, Ilona Gaynor, Zac Tolley, Neil Thomson, Rodrigo Lebrun, Naama Schendar, Rachel Knoll, and Simon Jeal for their incredible support with this project.